Oregon Gunman Left Hate-Filled Note and Long Struggled with Mental Issues, Sources Say

Michael Muskal et al., Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2015

The gunman who carried out the deadly attack on Umpqua Community College was described Friday as a “hate-filled” individual, with anti-religion and white supremacist leanings who has long struggled with mental health issues, law enforcement sources said.

Officials said Friday they had recovered 13 weapons tied to the shooter, Chris Harper Mercer, 26. Six were found at the college, seven were found during a search of his apartment–and all were legally purchased, officials said.

During the Thursday rampage that left nine dead and 10 wounded, Mercer wore body armor and had extra ammunition, although it was unclear whether he carried it during the shooting or left it in his car, a federal source said Friday. Mercer was killed in a gunfight with sheriff’s deputies.

Armed with three handguns and an assault rifle, he stormed the college’s Snyder Hall about 10:30 a.m. Thursday and started firing. As the shots erupted, students cowered in their classrooms and frantically called 911, sending a stream of ambulances, their sirens screaming, to the campus.

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Through interviews, investigators said they discovered that Mercer struggled with his mental health since he was a teenager and that his condition undermined his ability to succeed in life, a law enforcement source said.

One of the setbacks occurred in 2008, when he was discharged from the Army after only one month for failing to meet the minimum administrative standards to serve, according to records. {snip}

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Chris Harper Mercer

Chris Harper Mercer

[Editor’s Note: According to The Daily Beast, Mercer’s mother is black; his father is white.]

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